River Fragments

Driftwood. The Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield. ©️Merril D. Smith,2021

The sleepy December sun struggles
to raise his head above the drifting dreams
that cloud the sky, but breathes a delicate gold filigree,
to hold them till the wind breaks the clasp—

scarlet leaves flutter to the ground
in a fiery pile, they glow with their dying breaths,
the smell of cinnamon, ginger, and ash in the air,

reflecting the morning light, the gulls sparkle
as they wing back and forth,
gathering food and intelligence,
spying for the flock—here are fish, there are eagles,
watch for the woman–

she gazes at the lone duck,
and her face crumbles, remembering,
I’m sorry she says,
my husband died two years ago today—

a blink in the life of the river, grey or blue,
mirroring clouds, sky, sun, and moon,
it whispers to the massive tree trunks and branches
resting on the beach, bleached bone-white,
they’ve traveled a long time together, what stories
they might tell.

An attempt at a fragment poem for dVerse.

63 thoughts on “River Fragments

  1. Ah, yes, what stories they might tell! I think your landscape is a good muse for you. The sky might be too blue out here. BTW, today decided to be very blue. Not a single cloud. Almost to the hot blue, but not quite.

  2. I enjoyed reading the whole poem but this stanza is alive with sensory imagery:
    “scarlet leaves flutter to the ground
    in a fiery pile, they glow with their dying breaths,
    the smell of cinnamon, ginger, and ash in the air,”
    You take me there, Merril.

  3. blink, yes, in the words that flow by, as your story unfolds, here, there, beautifully done, with that timelessness of those final lines…

  4. she gazes at the lone duck,
    and her face crumbles, remembering,
    I’m sorry she says,
    my husband died two years ago today—

    Oh! Now I want to know more about her (and her departed husband)!


    David

  5. I’m not sure what a fragment poem is, Merril, but this is one of the depths of life you write about from time to time.
    Turning on a word, this frag of yours is meant to be.

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